Should your child take vitamins to stay healthy? There are many multi-vitamins marketed for kids, including fruit flavored gummy vitamins, but are they necessary?
Jeana Jackson, Nutrition Director at Children’s of Alabama says because vitamins are stored in the body, eating a variety of different food groups is all that is necessary. “The good news is generally most of our patients will get all of the vitamins and minerals they need from a healthy and well-balanced diet.” Jackson says.
If your child is a picky eater and you have concerns about whether they are getting enough variety in their diet, Jackson recommends talking to your child’s pediatrician about their nutrition. In this case she says a multi-vitamin may do the trick.
There are other instances when vitamins are recommended. “Babies that are exclusively breast fed need vitamin supplementation from their first few days of life because breast milk is low in Vitamin D”, Jackson says. She also says a child’s pediatrician may recommend supplementation in the instance of diseases like Crohn’s or Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend a multi-vitamin for children. However, Jackson says if a parent chooses to give their child a multivitamin, they are generally safe. She recommends against a large dose of vitamins that may cause problems with nutrient absorption of other vitamins and minerals. An example of this would be a C vitamin that doses well beyond the Recommended Dietary Allowance.